Truancy: The Very Best of Pete Townshend / new compilation


Truancy: The Very Best Of..  is a new Pete Townshend compilation (announced on his 70th birthday!) that signals the beginning of an extensive reissue programme. The solo catalogue will be ‘remastered and reworked’ by Universal Music with releases scheduled well into 2016.

This compilation contains 17 tracks, all newly remastered at Abbey Road Studios. When it comes to producing solo work Townshend admits “I am a bit of a dabbler I’m afraid. I am as interested in building, developing and playing with recording studios as I am with making music.” Despite this, Pete has found the time to come up with two brand new, previously unheard songsGuantanamo and How Can I Help You, both of which are included here along with a selection of highlights and singles from his nine solo albums

Truancy: The Very Best Of Pete Townshend is released on 29 June 2015.

Track listing

  • Pure And Easy (from Who Came First)
  • Sheraton Gibson (from Who Came First)
  • Let’s See Action (Nothing Is Everything) (from Who Came First)
  • My Baby Gives It Away (from Rough Mix)
  • A Heart To Hang On To (from Rough Mix)
  • Keep Me Turning (from Rough Mix)
  • Let My Love Open The Door (from Empty Glass)
  • Rough Boys (from Empty Glass)
  • The Sea Refuses No River (from All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes)
  • Face Dances (Pt. 2) (from All The Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes)
  • White City Fighting (from White City)
  • Face The Face (from White City)
  • I Won’t Run Anymore (from The Iron Man)
  • English Boy (from Psychoderelict)
  • You Came Back (from Scoop)
  • Guantanamo (New song)
  • How Can I Help You (New song)

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The Who are my favorite band. This is a sad collection. Other than Empty Glass, the Secret Policeman’s Ball (Who covers) and Scoop (not really Townshend solo, but rather Who demos) he really hasn’t done anything solo. All Shall Be Well is the rare exception.


I have the 2006 mini-LP version of Empty Glass. I’ve always wanted a matching version of White City, but they’re pretty expensive now. So I will *probably* be in for both of those albums in the new release, assuming the content and quality are up to snuff.


A useless compilation. Even worse, he’s releasing again his studio albums over the next year. I would assume they are expanded editions with even more unreleased tracks. Townshend recorded just about everything. So he can probably fill up 2 disks and then re-re-release them again in 10 years with another CD of discs.


Is “Truancy” really the wisest of titles bearing in mind….?

Richard, NYC

I agree with Ron Hatchell.


The almost-random tracklisting of this doesn’t appeal to me (especially as there is already a single-disc solo retrospective out there), but I would buy the albums themselves if, as mentioned above, they are not brickwalled, compressed, reversed, glitched, or any of the myriad ways modern reissues can be ballsed up.


A compilation with two “unreleased” cuts. It appears as if the teacher is learning from the student. As with “About the Young Idea” I’ll pass on this. Both the teacher and the student have got to do better than these compilations to to get me to buy their products. For the record I love both of their bands and solo albums. I have hundreds of Who & Jam albums and Townshend & Weller solo projects but it appears as if they lost touch with what their fans want. Give us high definition and unreleased material.



There, now I’ve shouted that…….

IF they get the sonics right, then I’m in for some of the solo albums. I’m going to give this disc a miss, because I’ll buy the album releases when they come out.


No Content or Street in the City. Can’t believe it.

Ron Hatchell

Looking forward to the re-issues.

Ron Hatchell

“Slit Skirts”, “Gonna Get Ya”, and “Stardom in Action” I would miss if I bought this. I wish they would just do surveys on the websites and ask ahead of time what we want on the compilations and just let us vote for it. A lot of these are not going to sell because they are missing one or two songs we want.


Too many negative comments!
Pete Townshend is totally original and underrated, and any release of new or old material is welcome and wonderful!
(I’m quite serious)

Paul Kent

I agree with wardo – no Give Blood, Slit Skirts, A Little Is Enough or Jools And Jim. SPV reissued the catalogue in ’05 and were pretty good so I’ll wait and see what extras there are before buying, but that’s a pretty poor compilation.

Bob Barker

TruNAcy? Might want to correct that, Paul.


I wasn’t aware there was anything of note from Psychoderelict or Iron Man


Any “very best of” without “Slit Skirts” (or “Give Blood”) is false advertising. Also, I wonder if “You Came Back” is the Scoop version from 1983 or the amended demo from Quadrophenia – Director’s Cut.


I’m a bit mixed on this. I have the albums that are of interest to me from the last wave of reissues. If this new batch and its “rework” includes some revelatory new mixes (ideally from a 3rd party – Mr. Wilson perhaps?) as well as a generous helping of previously unreleased music, I’d be sold in a heartbeat.

I’m just hoping it won’t be brickwalled remixes combined with a paltry one or two bonus cuts per album.


A while ago there was a post on Pete’s website saying that his entire solo catalog would be overhauled by Universal. It said content and format were still to be determined. There’s so much that could be done. There were several VHS releases from the 80’s that have never seen a DVD or Blu-ray release. (Chinese Eyes video LP, White CD video LP, Deep End concert.) It would be great to see these finally on DVD or Blu-ray. 5.1 mixes would be quite welcome too. (Rough Mix was released with an excellent 5.1 mix years ago, would be nice to see the rest of the catalog get the same treatment.)


Headline might need amending ;-)


Maybe the writer couldn’t spell as they were always off school!